March/April 2000 Issue

A Spring Brunch
Start a relaxing day with a decidedly local flavor

Spring’s easy days and new beginnings stimulate our longing for relaxation. Slower-paced weekends create the perfect scenario for a “No Rush” brunch. With a perfect pairing of a do-ahead menu and Southwest Florida’s finest, brunch becomes a spring thing.
   In this collection of local recipes, we use our resources at hand to the fullest. Cheese grits, Mrs. Edison’s deviled crab, and delightful orange coconut coffee cake are truly a taste of our town.
   Capture the easy spirit of spring. The only rule is relax and enjoy.

Jan Campbell, a lifelong resident of Southwest Florida, is a cookbook author and catering consultant.

Cheese Grits
1 cup of quick-cooking grits
1 6-ounce roll of garlic cheese
1 stick of butter
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese

Cook grits according to package directions. Add garlic cheese and butter. Add eggs and milk. Pour into a greased casserole dish and sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake uncovered for about 35 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Mrs. Thomas Edison’s Deviled Crab
1/3 cup of butter, softened
1 tablespoon of flour
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of dried mustard
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
2 full cups of crab meat
1/2 cup of cream
1/4 cup of celery, minced fine
1/4 cup of red pepper, minced fine
Buttered bread crumbs

Cream butter and flour. Add mustard and salt. Mix in all other ingredients except crab, cream, and bread crumbs. Blend well. Stir in crab and cream, mixing well. Put into scallop shells that have been buttered. Sprinkle bread crumbs over all. You can hold the prepared food in the refrigerator at this point for several hours. Be sure to cover with plastic wrap. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown.

Orange Coconut Coffee Cake
2 cans of crescent rolls (do not unroll)
1/2 cup of butter, melted
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of coconut
3 tablespoons of grated orange peel

Mix sugar, coconut, and orange peel in a bowl. Grease a nine-inch-round cake pan or Bundt pan. Cut each roll into eight slices (32 pieces). Dip each piece into melted butter, then into sugar mixture. Stand each piece on edge, making three circles around pan. Sprinkle any remaining sugar or butter over cake. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Invert on plate and allow to cool slightly.

3 ounces of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup of confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons of orange juice

Mix and spread over cake. Serve cake warm.